Letter to the Editor

Prevention is better than cure

Dear editor,
THE rate at which both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Local Government and Housing promote preventive medicine is below expectation.
Firstly, allow me to distinguish between the two . Medicine is divided into two; preventive and curative. Curative medicine is the branch of medicine which deals with curing various diseases which threaten the normal equality of good health. It is staffed with doctors, clinical officers, nurses, dentists, optomy and midwifery. These prescribe drugs and nurse sick people.
Preventive medicine deals with the healthy individuals through vaccination, educating, implementing and promoting of possible measures to protect the public from contagious diseases.
This comprises environmental health officers, environmental health technologists, public health officers and nurses.
But it is sad to hear and read about thousands of drugs worth millions of kwacha expiring. This is due to the fact that in  Zambia we value curative medicine, which is very expensive to sustain. When you go to most hospitals and clinics, diarrhoeal cases are high, and most children and adults get admitted.
It is more expensive to admit a patient in a ward for recovery than ensuring that the  patient employ preventive measures.
Today we talk of cholera in Kanyama. Many citizens may wonder as to why not PHI. The answer is very simple. Kanyama is an unplanned settlement and so it lacks good sanitation facilities compared to PHI.
We cannot continue losing people and resources just because people refuse to be evacuated and later taken back to their area after an upgrade. Let’s work towards preventive medicine because it’s cheap and reliable.
Let’s stop throwing litter anyhow because it blocks our drainages and create potential reservoirs for bacteria. It’s everyone’s responsibility to practise  good hygiene and save the environment.
Environmental health student

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